2016 Preservation at its Best, Rural Preservation: Worth Brewing Company
Northwood—a town with about 2000 residents—had problem that many small towns in rural Iowa face—a vacant building in the historic downtown. In this case, it was The Oddfellows-Erickson building. This two-story brick structure in the Italianate style was designed by J.L. Rood of St. Paul, who had also designed the nearby Worth County Courthouse. When the rehabilitation project started, the building was vacant—one side having been empty for 6 years. The roof and non-historic storefront was replaced to prevent further water infiltration and damage. Many original elements were saved and restored, including the metal cornice. Those surfaces were scraped, cleaned and painted.
Worth Brewing Company converted the first floor of the Erickson Building into the brewery; the first floor of the Odd Fellows building into the brewery Tap Room, and the second level Odd Fellows hall into an event center space. On the interior, asbestos was professionally abated to expose the original wood flooring. 1980s infill partitions and drop ceilings were removed.
The original wood bead board ceiling was uncovered and carefully restored. Additionally, The IOOF meeting hall’s tin ceiling and molding was restored. Other restored elements included two of the original entry doors, all of the original doors on the second level of the Odd Fellows and the c. 1940 windows and doors on the second level of the Erickson Building
Preservation Iowa’s two most visible programs are Iowa’s Most Endangered and Preservation at Its Best. These two programs work well together because being listed as Most Endangered often times leads to awareness, a preservation effort, and a high-quality, award winning project.
The full list of Preservation Iowa’s 2016 Preservation at its Best award winners includes: